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Grace offering hope of important turnaround

A man who pleaded guilty to several charges, including threatening to kill, strangulation and assault on a person in a family relationship, was sentenced to 11 months home detention at Masterton District Court yesterday.

The defendant, father of four Tipene Reddington, will spend the sentence in “the safe care of the Grace Foundation”, an Auckland-based non-governmental funded rehabilitation service, Judge Barbara Morris said.

Speaking to the court via an audio-visual link in court, Reddington apologised to his family and victims.

“I have needed help for a while,” he said, and described access to rehabilitation as “a great privilege” that would help him “get back on my feet and structure my life”.

“I just need help with managing my life,” Reddington said.

In sentencing, Morris noted that “every time you have been in an intimate partner relationship, you have been violent”.

She noted Reddington’s victim had chosen not to submit a victim impact statement to the court.

“Where to from here?”, Morris asked.

Referring to reports supplied to the court by Reddington’s defence counsel, Andra Mobberley, Morris said, “It is quite clear that there has been much intergenerational loss, and loss of wairua, loss of language, loss of whenua, and loss of hope, really.”

This didn’t excuse Reddington’s behaviour, Morris said, but “has contributed to where your mother ended up, and where you have ended up. It is no surprise you have turned to drugs and violence to fill that void.”

“That is not to say you can’t overcome it,” Morris said.

“You can. But it takes extra effort, mahi by you, and extra help to overcome and get the skill to deal with flashes of anger that stay hot for some time.”

“You want to go [to rehabilitation] for yourself and your tamariki,” she said.

“You are still able to be a role model.”

Morris requested Mobberley keep her informed of Reddington’s progress.

Addressing Reddington directly, Morris said, “You are in safe hands, and a lot of people are doing a lot of mahi to help you turn your life around. Good luck. It’s not going to be easy, and there will be times you want to give up, but dig deep at that point.”

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